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Silchester Players

We are pleased to announce that, despite all the challenges of lockdown, we will be performing the pantomime Dick Whittington over the Christmas season. Due to the Covid restrictions we are unable to perform in Silchester Village Hall. Instead we will present a radio production.

A great deal of work has gone into preparing Dick Whittington. The script we are following is of a suitable length for radio but had been written for a stage performance. A number of adaptions for radio have been necessary so as to set the different scenes and to make the action readily understandable to a listening audience. Regrettably such pantomime staples as “He’s behind you!” have had to be excised, but we have been able to retain a few others such as “Oh yes I can” and “Oh no you can’t!” There will be a pantomime dame, a principal boy and principal girl who fall in love, a talking cat and of course a baddie.

All our additions were held by Zoom and twice a week we have been conducting Zoom rehearsals. We have a chorus who will deliver the musical numbers. We obviously cannot enjoy the traditional community song, but will be asking our listeners to join in with the final number. Our technical team have assembled some striking sound effects (pun intended!). They have also devised a means of recording. The cast will assemble on a Zoom meeting, but listening with headphones and recording their lines on the Voice Memo app on their mobile phones.

The preparation of this panto has been fun, but it has presented huge challenges both to cast and crew. It is vital that the dialogue be clearly heard and also important that all the separate pieces of recording are joined seamlessly to make an entertaining radio programme.

This panto will run for about 45 minutes and will be broadcast on HHCR, Basingstoke’s Community Radio, at 2 p.m. on Sunday 27th December.

We ask all our regular supporters to listen to the panto and enjoy our seasonal offering, even though it is in a somewhat different format this year. The programme can be accessed via the Internet on www.hhcr.org.uk. It is available on a PC, laptop or mobile phone. If you have Alexa or Google Home simply say ‘play hhcr’ and your device should be able to connect.

We will also be hosting a podcast of the pantomime on our website following its initial broadcast, see:  www.silchesterplayers.org.

We sincerely hope that next year we will be able to perform once again in Silchester Village Hall. Despite the current difficulties we are determined to remain active and there will be further news from us in 2021.